Man calls 999 to ask for taxi ride home on Christmas Eve

Police have criticised a 999 caller who rang the emergency number to ask that officers arrange for a taxi home on Christmas Eve.

Surrey Police released audio of the call to highlight the improper use of the number, and to drive home the message that it should only be called when there are genuine emergencies.

The man told the police call handler: "Just letting you know, it's Christmas, I'm smashed out of my nut..."

To which the operator replied: "Well, what can the police help you with on 999 today?"

The caller then said: "Well, get me a cab home."

The operator then said that it was not a problem for the police, adding, "you're wasting police time by calling 999 to ask for a taxi."

Sarah Durston, head of the Surrey Police contact centre, said such calls waste police time and endanger the force's ability to react to real emergencies.

She said: "Although most people use the emergency number correctly, this call is a perfect example of when it has not been used correctly.

"This caller, who did not have an emergency, may have prevented someone else who was in danger from getting through to us. This presents a real risk to our ability to respond to genuine emergency calls.

"The 999 number must only be used for situations where a crime is actually in progress or someone is in danger."